If you’ve ever visited Florence, Alabama, you know that the area is rich with history, music and even an annual Renaissance Faire. However, you might not know that Florence is also rich in Indigenous People’s History! We visited Sacred Way Sanctuary to learn more about the First Nation and Indigenous People’s history and the animals they loved the most: Horses.
Indigenous History behind the Tennessee River Valley
Florence has been home to many generations of First Nation people in a variety of tribes. Many groups of Indigenous people called the area home, including Chickasaw, Cherokee and Creek tribes. Many ancient grounds were built by the Indigenous people time ago, and the remains are still preserved and honored here in Florence by reconstructing those sites into educational, memorable museums and historic preservation sites. Some include:
- Florence Indian Mound and Museum. Location: 1028 S Court Street, Florence, AL.
- Tom’s Wall Location: 13890 Lauderdale County 8, Florence, AL.
- Natchez Trace Parkway Location: State Rte 133, Florence, AL.
Sacred Way Sanctuary — A unique preservation site
The Sacred Way Sanctuary sits on monumental land that was once an Indian Reservation in 1806. In fact, it was one of the first Indian Reservations in the United States. Given that this land was home to many ancient Native Tribes, it was only right that the creators of the Sacred Way Sanctuary honor what was dear to their ancestors’ hearts: the Native American horse.
The Sacred Way Sanctuary’s Interpretive Museum gives visitors a valuable learning experience and fascinating insight into the symbolism of the horse to Indigenous tribes. Upon walking inside the sanctuary building, the showcased ancient horse husbandry items, such as saddles and horse quirts, can be viewed, and you’ll soon learn why the items were so unique. But, it doesn’t stop here. If you’re an animal lover, you’ll absolutely love this part: Taking in the view of the beautiful Native American horses that are housed on the 100-acre preserve.
Even though this will be an incredible experience you won’t want to depart from, you can still purchase special pieces of Native American handcrafted creations from their online shop right in your home. To learn more about the Sacred Way Sanctuary Preservation, check out their Instagram and website. Appointments to schedule a visit to the Sanctuary can be made here.
Are there any other Preservation sites in Florence you want us to cover? Let us know @thebamabuzz!